The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” ~ John 10:3-5
The lamb pictured on the right just experienced his first moment of Spring after months in captivity. He is not afraid to jump for joy and let the world know he is one happy creature. I know this feeling very well. This is what happens to me when I see my wife crack a smile because she is at peace or when one of my children shares something about their day that brings them joy. I get this feeling when a blog visitor sends me an email to share how something I wrote made them feel good inside.
How many times during the day do you feel like jumping? Or do you postpone this exhilaration to some future moment when you are finally free from captivity? If this is the case, maybe you need to take a look at all the things in your life that make you feel like a prisoner. Here are some ideas to consider:
- You fear what others will think if you express yourself. Do you believe this lamb cares what others think? He is happy and his joy will spread to anyone observing him.
- You are waiting for something in your life to change. Happiness is not a 401k deposit to be withdrawn at retirement. It's the moment you are in right now. That smile you choose to put on your face shows you are content in this moment, a moment you will never have again.
- You don't like your current circumstances. Why aren't you doing the things that make you jump for joy? Write down every one of those excuses you have that are preventing you from being happy and then ask yourself what you need to do to escape that prison you are living in. I bet if you really want to experience freedom, you can find a way to cross out every excuse on your sheet of paper. There is no reason why you can't be happy right now.
- You forgot how to jump. I know people like this. They locked up their dreams for so long that they forgot how to be happy. They decided to play it safe. You don't see any expressions on their faces because they are empty inside. Expressing yourself comes from releasing your passions. Dreams never forget how to jump. It's what they do. Are you telling me that the lamb in the picture is smarter than you?
- You have nothing to believe in. I remember this feeling very well. This almost cost me my own life. My world around me was crumbling and my faith was nearly shattered. I let the troubles of this world get inside my head. There is someone to believe in, someone who will be with you every day for the rest of your life. He is Jesus, the Lamb of God. He is calling you by name and wants you to follow Him. The gate is wide open and your field of dreams is awaiting. Are you ready to jump? Go ahead...express yourself.
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